Welcome to the CS in Schools Australian Year 7 programme, “Introduction to Programming”.

This page is an introduction to the programme, it explains what content is contained in the course, the learning objectives, and the design of our lesson format.

The quick start page contains a guide to using the lessons, and you can find the lessons themselves on the home page of this site. We recommend also reading the quick start guide before you get started.

Overview

The CS in Schools Year 7 programme:

  • Is built and maintained by the team at CS in Schools for Australian secondary schools
  • Is a complete Year 7 coding course that uses the general-purpose Python text programming language
  • Is a free and open programme that includes slides, lesson plans, worksheets, videos, assignments, and more
  • Teaches the fundamentals of coding and assumes no coding knowledge
  • Covers key requirements for coding in the Victorian and Australian Digital Technology curriculums at Levels 7 and 8 and Year 7 and 8 respectively
  • Is designed for classes of two hours per week over ten weeks, that is, twenty hours in total
  • Has optional additional materials available to add into the programme as needed

Learning Objectives

Overall student learning objectives:

  • Students gain an introductory understanding of programming using a general-purpose text-based coding language
  • Students experience success in coding small programs and completing exercises
  • Students incorporate visual- and literacy-based creative elements into their programs
  • Students have fun and gain confidence with programming and appreciate the relevance it has in their lives

The Year 7 programme covers the fundamental building blocks of coding in an eight week sequence, including:

  • Input, but only from the keyboard
  • Output, but only to the screen
  • Variables, but only string variables
  • Decisions, but only the “if” statement
  • Loops, but only the “goto” statement
  • Other fundamentals, such as comments, neatness, and readability of code

These are covered in the first six weeks, and students spend the final two weeks building a text-based adventure game.

Lesson Format

Each of the lessons in the core syllabus generally follows the same format. Each lesson addresses the “Five Es of Learning”: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate

Section 

Description

Learning Objectives

An overview of key learning goals is outlined

Engage – Coding Demo

Demo of pre-written code that is related to this lesson’s topic

Explore – Student Tweaking of Code Demo

Students tweak the demoed code to customise it

Explain – Theory and Concepts

Formal concepts and explanations are taught. Co-construction of programs is done here.

Elaborate – Exercise 1

Students undertake a series of 3 exercises that allows them to gradually construct and demonstrate their understanding of the content:

  • Exercise 1 is a scaffolded activity that requires “fill-in-the-blanks” type coding to provide a gentle introduction to individual construction.
  • Exercise 2 requires students to complete some pre-written code.
  • Exercise 3 requires students to write code from scratch.

Elaborate – Exercise 2

Elaborate – Exercise 3

Explain and Elaborate (as needed)  – 

Walkthrough video of Exercise 3

Video walkthroughs of solutions are provided for Exercise 3. This is useful for students who wish to revisit topics to clarify their understanding. It can be also be useful to catch students up who may have missed classes and so on

Explore and Extended – Extension Exercise

These are designed for students who complete all the exercises quickly and easily, and have demonstrated mastery of the concepts covered. Students can undertake the optional extension exercises to deepen and broaden their understanding

Evaluate – Show and Tell, Formal Reflection

Students present and talk about their work and learning process to the class, linking it back to the topics covered

You can find more information on the syllabus in this document.

Support

For curriculum support, please contact Zach Wingrave at zach@csinschools.com.

License Information

These CS in Schools lessons plans, worksheets, and other materials were created by Toan Huynh and Hugh Williams. They are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.